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Thread: How to decide where to live

  1. #121
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nswef View Post
    is there a bridge to the main land or a ferry?
    There is at least one main causeway from the Burlington area mainland to South Hero. It's actually an amazing drive across the lake--flanked by the Green Mountains and the Adirondacks.

    But there are also ferries--there is a Grand Isle ferry to Plattsburgh NY, where there are lots of other "city" amenities.
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  2. #122
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    For me, that would be a great location, but that is a very personal decision, no right or wrong.

    It sounds like your biggest concerns are size of house and the big unknown of the neighbors. Is there a HOA, and someone you could talk to from the association, to scope out what the group is like?

  3. #123
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    The house would be too small for me, but I assume you could expand it if you found it so. The location sounds pretty good. Go with your instincts.

  4. #124
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    As for the house itself, for me it would depend on how much built-in storage you have inside the 600 sq ft. As for guests, I'm assuming summer/good weather, can you add a screened in porch? I have very fond memories of sleeping in the screen room with cousins at my grandparents' home.

    As for the 10 families, well, you'd all have to get along, and not be "best friends" - how long have they all lived there? and why is the current seller moving?

  5. #125
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post
    Part II of the Vermont house hunting.

    Another productive weekend. We drove up the eastern side of Lake Champlain and explored all the towns and all the neighborhoods/houses I had put on my list to drive by. We were able to yay/nay each one.

    So yesterday we went up to the Champlain Islands, and I found a house that I really like!! My son in particular has been hounding me ever since we saw it.

    Pros:
    direct waterfront
    cute house
    Year round
    Concrete dock
    Guy wants to sell his boat for only $1500
    No dangerous drop-off to beach, but set back
    Lots of great southern exposure for growing
    Intersting land concept: you own 1/4 acre, but share 2 acres with 10 families, reducing taxes
    Great family spot
    Cheap

    Cons
    A little farther than I want to be
    I'd have to sacrifice the Burlington vibe for a remote island vibe and I'm not 100% sure what that will be like.
    Don't know if I'll like those other 9 families
    Not really a great place to get sick in (to jp1's point--not "age-in-place-able"). I'm healthy, but DH has some issues.

    My son is ALL ABOUT IT, but I told him, it's really a case of me asking the question "Who am I??" City girl or country girl? Where am I going to be happy? How do I figure that out before I spend a lot of money?

    Insights?
    So, we got two emails. Yesterday: Realtor sends us a link to an adorable house in the town we really prefer, but it's on leased land. It's also about $50k above our budget. Also not year round. Otherwise really great. I've been reading up on pros and cons of leased land, and I really don't think I want to go that route.

    Today: get an email from the owners of the above house. Can't remember how much I shared about them, but they are a young couple with a little baby. They made a ton of upgrades to this little home to make it as cute as it is. But they had to move to FL for financial reasons, and so they rented out for the time being. The email stated that their income in FL is nowhere near the income they could get in VT. Not only that but the renters have not paid them, and they are now in a terrible predicament. They wrote to us asking if we would still be interested in purchasing before spring, because they are going to be exploring foreclosure, and their hearts are broken.

    We had actually put in an offer on this home, which they turned down because they rented it out just before we made the offer. But now, when push comes to shove, I am not sure I'm ready to commit. I would definitely be interested in renting for a few months to see how I like it. If I like living on Lake Champlain in the winter, I know it's a keeper.

    Any thoughts on how to make this a win-win situation? I'm excited, but with trepidation.
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  6. #126
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    Maybe ask them if you could rent it for 6 months for the price of the mortgage payment and maybe a little extra. That will give you the chance to see if you like it and they get cash coming in.

  7. #127
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    I would walk away.

    First, in your own words, "leased land. It's also about $50k above our budget. Also not year round". Three things you're not happy about already.

    Second, now there's the drama of a potential foreclosure. Which the young couple could exercise at any time, especially since they seem to be quite stretched financially and neither houses (they now own two) nor babies are immune from very expensive issues that may trip it and foreclosure doesn't release them right away from their obligation. I don't know what the laws for foreclosure are in Vermont; it would be good to be familiar with them before pursuing this transaction. What happens to the land-lease agreement in case of foreclosure? Are you prepared for all the (long-distance) bureaucracy that can accommodate a foreclosure (I've bought two; I have an idea)? If you rented the house for six months, would you be willing and able to move someplace else once the foreclosure redemption period was over -- if you had not found a way to purchase it somehow and assuming the house was ready for sale by then?

    You could ask the young couple to learn more about short sales. It is possible (here in Minnesota; again, can't speak to Vermont, and, again, there's that pesky 'you-don't-own-the-land' issue) that the young couple could convince their lender that a short sale is preferable to foreclosure and for your agent to work with their agent/lender to present you and DH as qualified (pre-approved, willing to buy the house as-is, etc.) buyers willing to buy this house. The lender still gets to decide who buys, but if the young couple can present a package that minimizes the lender's costs, they might go for it.

    But if you don't really love the lease and partial-year bits, is it worth all this?
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

  8. #128
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveinMN View Post
    I would walk away.

    First, in your own words, "leased land. It's also about $50k above our budget. Also not year round". Three things you're not happy about already.

    Second, now there's the drama of a potential foreclosure. Which the young couple could exercise at any time, especially since they seem to be quite stretched financially and neither houses (they now own two) nor babies are immune from very expensive issues that may trip it and foreclosure doesn't release them right away from their obligation. I don't know what the laws for foreclosure are in Vermont; it would be good to be familiar with them before pursuing this transaction. What happens to the land-lease agreement in case of foreclosure? Are you prepared for all the (long-distance) bureaucracy that can accommodate a foreclosure (I've bought two; I have an idea)? If you rented the house for six months, would you be willing and able to move someplace else once the foreclosure redemption period was over -- if you had not found a way to purchase it somehow and assuming the house was ready for sale by then?

    You could ask the young couple to learn more about short sales. It is possible (here in Minnesota; again, can't speak to Vermont, and, again, there's that pesky 'you-don't-own-the-land' issue) that the young couple could convince their lender that a short sale is preferable to foreclosure and for your agent to work with their agent/lender to present you and DH as qualified (pre-approved, willing to buy the house as-is, etc.) buyers willing to buy this house. The lender still gets to decide who buys, but if the young couple can present a package that minimizes the lender's costs, they might go for it.

    But if you don't really love the lease and partial-year bits, is it worth all this?
    Sorry if I misled you, Steve.

    The leased land seasonal house is NOT the one the young couple are trying to save. That was another house.

    Basically, to clarify, I prefer to live in Town A. It's very close to my son, and close to basic amenities. DH wants to live where he can fish and boat. Those homes in Town A seem to be almost 100% on leased land. Downsides of leased land: hard to get a mortgage. Hard to sell. Don't appreciate as much as the land itself. Upside: you get to live in a nice house in a great, desirable area without having to pony up hundreds of thousands of dollars for prime real estate. That was where House A was.

    So we started looking in Town B. Found House B last September on owned land, on the water, 12 month, in our budget. Fell in love, made an offer, but they said that they were forced to take the first offer: a rent or buy, and the rental offer came first. I was bummed, and wrote to the couple (my realtor would shoot me) and said that if they were ready to sell next year (Spring 2018), we would love for them to reach out to me. So they reached out, much sooner than I expected them to.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  9. #129
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Catherine, I don't see any huge red flags with a plan to rent the lake place during the winter to check it out.


    I think it is a given that sharing 2 acres with 12 other families Will involve some conflict. That is not reason enough in my mind to avoid it. I guess I would enter that situation with the idea that DH and you would be doing more than "your fair share " in maintaining that land and if that is OK with you, that is the way it is. It is impossible to fairly allocate maintenance like that in a completely even handed way.

  10. #130
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    Catherine, you seem sure this is the right direction as far as location. But within your location.....Do you feel you have exhausted your search?

    And are you and DH .....of one mind?

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